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Sunday, October 23, 2016

Christie And Cuomo’s Minimum Wage Politics Highlight Different Economic Visions

Christie And Cuomo’s Minimum Wage Politics Highlight Different Economic Visions

Cuomo’s minimum wage proposal is better for working families, but the debate needs to be broader.

Two potential candidates for president in 2016, New Jersey governor Chris Christie and New York governor Andrew Cuomo, have taken opposing positions on raising the minimum wage in their states. The debate between the two governors draws a sharp distinction between competing economic visions: trickle-down vs. middle-out economics. At the same time, it also shows how limited the current debate is when it comes to dealing with what’s needed to meet the needs of working families and, in doing so, change the direction of economic policy.

In late January, Christie vetoed a small increase in the minimum wage, from the current federal minimum of $7.25 an hour to $8.50 an hour. He said that raising the minimum wage would “jeopardize New Jersey’s economic progress.” Christie based his opposition on concerns about small business, although two out of three low-wage workers are employed by corporations with over 100 employees.

Across the Hudson, New York’s Cuomo argued just the opposite in his State of the State address. Cuomo made the economic case for how putting more money into people’s pockets by raising the minimum wage will move New York’s economy forward:

Increasing the minimum wage leads to greater economic growth. Low-income individuals spend a larger percentage of their income than higher-income earners and salary increases in low-wage occupations lead to increased demand for goods and services. Empirical evidence suggests that an increase of $1 in the minimum wage generates approximately $3,000 in household spending per year. Increased household spending will increase demand for goods and help businesses grow, thereby creating more jobs for New Yorkers.

That’s a positive change from a year ago, when Cuomo raised the same concerns as Christie after New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver first put forth the minimum wage proposal. But by the end of the 2012 legislative session, Cuomo had warmed to the proposal, which in both states is supported by more than 80 percent of voters. This year, he has made it a top legislative objective, the first plank in what he calls a “progressive agenda.”

While Cuomo’s support is very welcome, the governor’s own words provide strong evidence that the small hike in the minimum wage he has proposed, to $8.75 an hour, will still far short of what a family needs for the basics in life. In his State of the State address, he explained:

The current minimum wage is unlivable. It’s only $14,616. The annual cost of gasoline is $1,200. The annual cost of electricity is $1,300. The annual cost of auto insurance is $1,400. The annual cost of groceries is $6,500. The annual cost of childcare is $10,000. The annual cost of housing is $15,000 on a minimum wage of $14,000. My friends, it does not add up. Nineteen other states have raised the minimum wage; we propose raising the minimum wage to $8.75 an hour. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the fair thing to do. It is long overdue. We should have done it last year. Let’s do it this year.

Despite his passionate plea, the governor’s facts underscore the distance between his proposal and what it would take for a family to meet its essential needs. That figure is available from Wider Opportunities for Women Through Their Basic Economic Security Table (BEST), which measures by state and county the income a working adult requires to meet his or her basic needs without public assistance.

The BEST number for New York, using the entirely unlikely assumption that a worker has health benefits on the job, is $19.89 for a single worker and about the same for a two-worker family with two children. A single working parent with two children would need to make $36.23 an hour to have a basic living standard. The importance of Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act coverage provisions, which will start in 2014, is underscored by how much higher the hourly wage would need to be in the much more likely scenario that low-wage workers have no health benefits at work. For example, without benefits, a single person would need to earn $25.63 to meet basic needs and a single parent with two children would need $50.72.

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  • Budjob

    It should have been done last year!!!No my friends,the minimum wage should have been AT LEAST $9.00 an hour TEN YEARS AGO!!!!!

  • charleo1

    At this point, why is anyone still listening to Republicans on the economy?
    George W. Bush looked at the surpluses, and balanced budgets, and proclaimed Americans
    had been over charged. So they lowered taxes, mostly for the rich. Went to war, and expanded Medicare. Pretended not to notice as 10 million American jobs became 10 million foreign jobs.
    Did see the wheels come off the economy, as the wagon went off the cliff. Thanked all his
    wonderful supporters for 8 fun filled years. And then, like the Cowboy we had all come to know
    so well, climbed on his mountain bike, wished Obama lots of luck, and rode off into the sunset.
    Leaving his Party in the same condition he had managed to leave everything else. In ruin.
    Now, having inflected great harm, and debt to the economy, by spending like there was no tomorrow. Republicans continued the destruction, by now refusing to spend any money at all to help an economy that was now flat on it’s back. Or even lend a hand to the 12 million Americans just tossed out of work. No Sir! They said. As they now got all Capital-ity. Ah, we think the American People want just such a Party to have that very serious conversation now, about Social Security, Medicare, and the huge Federal deficits. So, go ahead Barrack, tell ’em how we need to cut all the spending, before we become Greece! NO, Mr. President, we want you to tell ’em. I’m not tellin’ ’em. You tell ’em.

    • nobsartist

      Obama isnt going to tell them anything.

      He exposed his true colors when he signed the bush tax cut extension.


      By the way, bush couldnt have done what he did without a lot of help from Democrats. Like clinton, shumer and biden.

      • charleo1

        I know. You like to blame everybody, so you seem above it all. The fact that a
        majority Republican Congress, with some help from a few moderate Democrats,
        which could be called liberal Republicans, deregulated the financial sector, and
        crashed the economy, with the majority of Democrats in both chambers voting
        aganist it, to you means they’re all guilty. Obama extended the Bush tax cuts for
        one year, and to you, that’s who he really is. Obviously wanted to do it all along!
        The facts paint an entirely different picture. But, you’re not interested in that.
        The fact that it was in the lame duck session, and Democrats had lost the House,
        and 6 million out of work, Americans, would not have received an extension on their unemployment benefits, or the nuclear treaty with Russia, helping them
        to secure, and remove nuclear weapons from former satellite countries would not
        have been allowed to come to a vote by Republicans in the Senate. Even though,
        without a filibuster, both passed easily. But, you’re not concerned with such
        trivialities. I would find it interesting to hear from you, the last politician you
        considered anything but useless. If you don’t have one, that makes you an ideologue. And anyone, for any reason straying outside your ridged boundaries,
        is just another lying politician.

        • Well said, as usual. Let’s not forget the fact that the bipartisan support Bush enjoyed immediately after 9/11 was influenced by the fear that dominated our collective psyche, and the deceit used by the Bush administration to justify the invasion of Iraq and deflect attention from the ambivalence and ineptitude that contributed to that tragedy. They were, admittedly, very successful in fooling most Ameericans, including many politicians, at a time when our country was trying to understand what, until then was unthinkable. Not only did they succeed in deflecting attention from themselves, they managed to transform a pathetic President into a war hero, left the homeland of most of the 9/11 terrorists off the hook in exchange for lucrative contracts, and engage in an immoral crusade that, by some counts, may have cost the lives of as many as 600,000 people, caused the migration of hundreds of thousands of Sunnies fleeing from the violence that ensued after the invasion, and replaced Sunnis in government positions with Shiites aligned spiritually to Iran. That is the record Republicans want us to forget and pretend it never happened.

          • charleo1

            The other day at the confirmation hearings for Chuck Hagel, McCain was desperate to
            extract a public endorsement of the surge. A kind of an all’s well that ends well verdict,
            they would like to insert into the history books. And not, like you said, a pathetic President
            who used an avalanche of public support here in this Country, and an outpouring of
            good will from around the world, to launch an invasion into a Country that had nothing
            to do with the attacks. I was surprised to learn, even Iran offered it’s condolences,
            in a letter to the President. It was at the least, a reaching out. Bush did not respond in
            any fashion. Not even an acknowledgement to the Iranian Government, of the letter’s
            receipt. As you point out, the results of the war were not limited to squandered treasure,
            and the lives of the soldiers. The Iraqi people suffered horribly, in the aftermath. The
            political realities has been the strengthening of Iranian power in the region. And maybe
            just as important, the loss of the opportunities America may have had to use this
            extraordinary, and world shattering act of hate, to change some of the more difficult
            relationships we have with some Countries around the world. Of course, all that possibility
            was lost with the invasion of Iraq.

    • Well put my man, too bad the Republitards are to blind and ignorant to realize how all this went down and will always continue to blame the Dems no matter what or who was or is in power.

  • nobsartist

    Neither of these two assholes are worth minimum wage. Then again, NO politician is.

    Another thing Obama is silent about.

    Taxation should be based on the minimum wage and no wage earner making less than 500% more than the minimum wage should have to pay FEDERAL income tax.

    The feds do NOTHING for the working man.

  • I can’t imagine anyone trying to survive on $7.25 an hour, or even $8.50. Our minimum wage is grossly inadequate when we consider the cost of living in most Americans cities and towns. The excuse given by Republicans regarding the potential impact of livable wages on inflation and the unemployment rate does not make sense, when we consider the large profits our corporations are making and the high dividends they pay. The more money the working class makes, the more money they spend, and the more they spend the more it influences economic growth and low unemployment.
    The irony is that those who object to paying a decent minimum wage are the same ones that fight tooth and nail against higher taxes for those who can afford to pay them, on the false pretense that the more money the wealthy have the better off those at the bottom will benefit from it. That is simply not the case. Mult-millionaires don’t buy a F-150 pickup truck, they don’t shop at Target, and they don’t vacation at Disney. The elite buys Bentleys, spend their weekends shopping in Paris, Rome or Madrid, and they vacation in the Alps or Bali.
    Our labor problems, however, go well beyond the minimum wage. The most pervasive practice being used by retailers, the hospitality sector, and other sectors of our economy is to hire part timers, pay them minimum wage, and offer no benefits whatsoever. Now that most of the assembly line jobs that sustained the middle class for decades have been outsourced to countries like China, India, Indonesia and others, our young have no choice but to accept jobs and working conditions that would have been unacceptable to most Americans as recently as two or three decades ago. Sadly, instead of changing this trend is likely to expand now that employers realize they can abuse people with few employment choices available to them, and increase profit margins substantially.
    I wonder how the average American worker will react when they realize that we are falling behind in wages and benefits when compared to what European, Canadian, Australian and Japanese workers earn.

    • Excellent commentary, unfortunately it is very little that anybody could do to alleviate this situation and in the meantime republicans without any hessitation are going to continue blaming Obama’s administration and protecting the millionaires from paying higher taxes as they should do it.

    • These conditions are similar to conditions that led to the rise of unions last century. Now that middle class workers have bought the premmise unions are bad, workers are being push back. Organize.

      • judgeglenda

        these kids growing up now don’t know unions gave them a middle class neighborhood to grow up in. we need to remind them and vote people in that know that.

    • Faux News has been showing how average wages for middle class has dropped from
      an annual $54,000 to $50,000. What they don’t show is how much income for the
      wealthy has dramatically increased. Maybe that is where that $4,000 went

    • Remember The Primaries They Want To Lower That!! These Are Some No Good Ass Thugs!!!

    • Kevin Johnson

      I think this article is askew of the larger point. Unfortunately the “larger point” does not have an easy solution. First of all I think the argument of this article rests on the assumption that that a minimum wage job should support a family. This has never been the case in the US. Until recently (last 20 years?) minimum wage jobs were occupied by students or those who were supplementing the household income (ie. dependents). The unfortunate truth is that low income service jobs have been increasingly occupied by adults rather than teens (remember when the “kid” at the McDonald’s counter used to be a kid?).
      This article states that a single parent with two children would have to make $50.72/hr. Do the math. That’s $105,467.60 per year for a 40hr/week job. The implicit argument is that we as a country owe it to any and all to make that kind of money… not to mention the question of, “where in the H E dbl-hockey sticks does this hypothetical three person family live that a six figure income is barely enough to get by?”
      What I’m getting at is that the solution to the problem lies in rebuilding our manufacturing base. A package of incentives/dis-incentives to keeping jobs here in the US and not out sourcing is what is needed. I hate sounding like a Republican, but merely showing up for work should not entitle one to a comfortable living. Minimum wage jobs should be for the above mentioned dependents NOT for family bread winners. This subject touches many other political issues including both our tax and immigration policies – a much bigger subject than we have space for here.

  • bjbstarr11

    I agree with Charleo1. Nobsartist likes to blame President Obama for everything. You are correct the GOP would rather hold the country hostage than do what is right for everyday working people. They are the party of No and will always be. This is why Romney did not win in November.

  • Is there anyone who is going to vote for 2016 contenders because of their proposal on minimum wage? I really doubt it. I also ask myself if Chris Christie will decide to run, on what ticket will he run from? He can not get full support from his party he is in now neither from the Dem side.

    • jarheadgene

      You are correct….although Christie is extremely popular and unlike Romney, knows how to really make fun of himself, in good humor. He is still a Republican. And he lost the EXTREME A-holes of the GOP, because he shook hands and gratefully backslapped the “non American, Muslim, gun-stealing, socialistic, communistic, baby-killing nigger” President. Give it up GOP…..until you rid yourselves of the EXTREME part of your party, you are DOOMED ! And the B.S. Eric Cantor is now trying to sell as their “toned” down policies is just that – BULLSHIT!

  • lambypie

    Bush was just a “figurehead” he didn’t pull the strings Cheney, Rove, and their cronies were the ones running the show and still are. That is why his nickname was “Doofus”. I thought everybody knew that.

    • Annemb

      Absolutely correct.

      Have you read, “Conservatives Without Conscience” by John W. Dean? It is very informative, to say the least, and scarey.

      Thanks for your post.

    • Although he may have been a ‘figurehead’ he went along willingly with everything his handlers asked of him still making him the most worthless human being on the planet and America’s worst president ever.

  • Gov Christie dosen’t live on min wage. Far from it. If you work full time, 38+ hours you should be able to afford the basics. Say what you will about the 50’s the min wage was commiserate with over all prices. That’s why if you had a full time job back then you kept your head above water. That’s also why President Eisenhwer is ranked one of our better Presidents. This country was booming. They should peg the min wage to a cola.

  • montanabill

    We should have raised the minimum wage to AT LEAST $13.00 an hour years ago. How can anyone survive on less than $50,000 a year. So what if it raises the cost of everything to the point where you need $100,000 a year to live. We will just raise minimum wage to $26.00/hr.

    Want more than minimum wage, whatever it is? Get an education or learn a skill.

    • AdamMos

      Are you going to pay for that education or should I borrow it from my parents? A four year university is running about 100k not including living expenses. Keep in mind I will also need income so I am already working 30 hours per week with 4 mouths to feed. How about just a decent wage so I can rent a small apartment, make sure my children have healthcare and a car that runs. Perhaps we could get some nutricious food to eat so that we do not go to bed hungry. We dont all have the same opportunities, things are not so simple outside of Montana I suppose. I just want to work 60 hours per week and live with some dignity and provide my children some of the opportunities I never had.Raising the minimum wage will help alot of hard working people and improve the economy with the additional consumer spending.

      • montanabill

        There are colleges and universities that cost far less. I had to make that decision when I was young, with 4 mouths to feed. I had no family funds and there were no eduction loans. I did as you are doing. Attended classes during the day and worked until after midnight, studied when I could. I didn’t get to attend the schools I would have preferred, but found good colleges I could afford (it took 5). Minimum wage was $1. It is hard, I know. But if you want life to remain hard, don’t do it.

        • AdamMos

          You dont get it. Not everyone is cut out for college. There are to many college graduates out there that are making minimum wage. Even people who have skill sets cannot find work due to technology and a normal economy. Look at the contstuction industry. It has been dessimated. the economy grows from the middle out. Our middle class is disappearing. All of the wealth is now concentrated with the very few. I do not believe in complete wage equality or economic socialism. I am in favor of common sense economic policies that favor the middle class and working poor. Raisng the minimum wage so that lessworking people live below the poverty line makes a lot of sense.

          • english_teacher

            No, Montanabill doesn’t get it. Obviously, he did this a long time ago if minimum wage was $1. According to the DOL, the minimum wage was $1 from 1956 to 1961, when the world was much different than it is today. I’d like to see him try to do the same thing at today’s prices on today’s minimum wage.

          • Stop the excusses. If you want a better life for your family make the sacrifice now to get what is needed to make life better. It took 9 years for me to earn a college degree, working 40 to 60 hrs. a week and school part time. The man that most inspired me was a 55year old laborer who when asked what was he going to do now that he was a clooege grad. answered. Keep working I did not do this for myself, I did it so I can look my three sons in the eye as they ponder should I or shoudn’t I go to college, I can say look you little son of a bitch I did it and so can you.
            Make the sacrifice for your children.

          • AdamMos

            Things have changed. It is not about excuses it is about reality. Anyone who works 60 hours per week is sacrificing. That individual should be able to provide at least modestly for his family. Not living high on the hog but getting along and maybe saving a few bucks for weddings and retirement etc….That does not exist with $ 7.00 per hour wage and no benefits. Not everyone can afford a 4 year college degree. It is estimated that my 8 year old will spend over 100k on tuition, books and supplies alone to attend an in state college. Costs have skyrocketed and wages have remained stagnant. The working poor do not need college degrees- they need more discretionary income. We have created a permanent underclass.

          • No! I understand not all are cut out for college but JC’s are inexpensive, there is tuition assistenceand other aid. If you want to go a way can be found. If college is not for you admitted it and move on. It tough out there and getting tougher. Just keep doing the best you can. My 30 year old with an MBA is working as a trashman.

          • InsideEye

            I also worked two jobs if I had to including washing bakery pans, there are trade schools for the artisans amongst us. Yes 2 jobs and weekends, went to collegfe, masters and Ph.D. with some college loans working at all times and family stuff. it can be done. the lower jobs are stepping stones, unless you just want to sta

          • AdamMos

            Unfortunately a two year associates degree is no longer worth the paper it is printed on. I am sorry you have a child with an MBA who is now a trashman. It is symptomatic of the problems we are discussing.IIf the republicans had their way they would end financial as aid. It is been on their platform for years to end pell grants and we saw them try to double loan interest on student loans during the lowest interate environment in history. We need a strong working class who can afford to buy things. The money will trickle up and we will have alot less people in jobs they are overqualified for and less peoplpe on the govt dole.

          • InsideEye

            My greatest respect goes to you. You are What is needed. I am pissed- off at what lame excuses for mental and physical laziness that I see in these forums. There are no rights to anything we must earn it on every level.

          • Thanks!

          • montanabill

            We don’t have a normal economy. What we have is a government making sure that business doesn’t get going again. The very businesses that would revitalize the middle class which would get construction moving again which would further vitalize the middle class. A vibrant middle class is not dependent on government. A class not dependent on government doesn’t feel obligated to vote for those passing out goodies.

            Wealth is being concentrated by the monetary policies of this country, not solely by the economy.

            As I tried subtly in another post to point out, raising the minimum wage does three things: 1) for a very short period, those making minimum wage will do a little better, 2) a lot of minimum wage workers will lose their jobs because the additional cost will be too big a burden on their employers, and 3) the new costs will be passed on to all goods and services, increasing their prices. Then, the buying power of the new minimum wage will be no better than the old minimum wage and prices.

            We have seen exactly that scenario since the 1950’s. You know Einstein’s definition of crazy.

    • Annemb

      I totally agree with you about the minimum wage being raised to at least $13.00 an hour years ago.

      Minimum wage was $.75 an hour when I got my working papers in summer 1952 for a part time job in the 5&10. I was in high school at the time. This means the total increases to $6.00 an hour in 61 years. So today’s minimum wage of $7.25 really isn’t much of a raise, it isn’t even a living wage.


      • montanabill

        You obviously missed the point.

        • Your point is bogus! In 1957 mim wage was $1.00 bread was 25 cents a pound, eggs were 10 cents a doz. Today mim wage is $7.25 bread is $2.29 a pound not $1.82 and eggs are $1.29 not 73 cents. need I go further to prove that wages not mim wages are not keeping up.

          • montanabill

            The point is that no matter how much you raise the minimum wage, it will force an increase in costs which will make everything cost more. Once again, the minimum wage, whatever it is, will buy an equal amount or less. Been that way since minimum wage was first concocted.

    • To some degree I agree with you Montana, I believe the better education or should I say the more education after high school you have the better off you tend to be so long as there is a demand for your paticular degree, same with a technical college degree. But what happens to those that maybe had the better job prior to needing that degree and have either been let go or company moved over seas and now try to get back into the workforce but cannot because they have no college/tech degree, or what about the person that cannot afford to go to college or Tech school because their family cannot afford to help pay for college and they only work part time because that’s all they can find? So there is more to it than just getting a degree or finding a skill set.

      • montanabill

        Here’s a tip from an old timer, Chad. You may never actually work in the field of your degree. My field didn’t exist when I started college. If you have a technical degree, you can be assured that your school knowledge will be obsolete no more than 5 years after graduation. A good strategy, no matter what your chosen degree, get a well rounded education. An English teacher that can understand and do math will have options. An engineer who knows how write and speak will rise far faster than one who can simply do numbers. If you are not college material, learn a skill trade. If you are short of money and have to work part time, like I did, simply understand that your four year degree may take six years or more. You’ll have a chance to get a much better paying job with a two year or four year degree when you want to pursue the next level. I’ve had to start over after jobs ended. It is never fun or easy, but it is doable for those with determination.

        • ObozoMustGo

          Good advice Montana.

        • Good advise but these young one know everything and us gray beards are stupid in their little world. I’ve been knocked around and konck down a few times. I learned to get up point myself in the right direction and keep moving. I am not sure these young ones have it in them. And they sure want us to tell them any thing.

          • montanabill

            I think you meant, ‘not to tell’. We are probably to blame. Each generation since the 50’s has had it a little easier than the previous. We all want to give our kids to have things we didn’t have and make their lives a little easier. Now the government has really gotten into the act. Both parties have found that handing out goodies is what the folks expect. The Republicans talk about being cost aware, but won’t really do what has to be done. The Democrats have given up all pretense of caring about spending. It will not end well.

      • ObozoMustGo

        Chad, here’s a good quote for your inspiration.

        “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated failures. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” – Calvin Coolidge

        Keep fighting the good fight and don’t be fooled into thinking that your success or survival are contingent upon the government giving you anything. Once dependent, it’s nearly impossible to break from it. And once dependent, you lose a chunk of your personal dignity.

        Have a great evening!

    • ObozoMustGo

      Hey Montana! Hope you are well. I was considering the alternative to raise the minimum wage to $1,000,000 per year. This way we’d all be rich, right? Yeah right. Sure, sure. Something tells me there are a few idiots on here that may agree with that idea.

      Have a great night, Montana!

      “The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy.” – Milton Friedman, Capitalism and Freedom

  • Charvi3

    First for anyone that pays into social security…you don’t see that little raise on your paycheck..I have been there, believe me…I worked for the phone company, and my friend, Joan, who made $14.00 an hour and I made $7.50…and mind you this was years ago…our pay checks looked the same…they took so more social security out of her paycheck…she didn’t see that extra on her take home pay…a lot of government people don’t pay into social security…so, they have their earnings to live off of…so, all these people that think that when you get a job paying $14.00 an hour is good…think twice…and now they are going to increase the retirement age…it is really something…so, again…if you wait till you retire all those years you paid into social security…you will have to wait for a portion that you paid into it…till you get old and retire…like a lot of people do…so, even with all the expenses with the gas…the electric…and your payment for rents and on your are still over your heads…lets look at the real picture here..believe me…unless you work for relatives or good friends that will pay you under the table…then you don’t even have to file taxes on the monies you are bringing home…Joan’s paycheck making $14.00 an hour look just like mine and that was years ago…so, again…think about when you make more than a lot of people on an average minimum wage is making…

  • lambypie

    No just common sense told me that. But there just isn’t enough to go around I guess. Just and addition to DominickVila’s comment most who earn minimum wage also don’t get full time hours and they usually have to work 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet. Also, how about waiters and waitress’s their employers aren’t required to pay minimum wage most make like $1.7 5 an hour, then they have to rely on tips that most have to share with their coworkers and the bartender. Tips should not be considered salary they should be how the job was done. If done well then that should be a bonus. TRUE STORY!

  • Canistercook

    Guess we have to choose between higher minimum wage and selling what we produce for a profit.
    Not a simple solution is available.

  • m8lsem

    We are racing back toward 1880, the era of peonage for most everyone, and robber barons. China, in the meantime, is creeped away from 1880 with beginning to raise wages and beginning environmental regulation.
    Both the USA and the PRC need some Wobblies, a Samuel Gompers and ilk, a Teddy Roosevelt, and then a Franklin Roosevelt all over again to return/take us to shared prosperity.
    Robber Barons are an international phenomenon, some of whom proudly claim to be Christian, yet are anything but.
    If the Democrats ever have both Houses and the Presidency, we need to the following and such other ideas as might occur to a progressive well read on economics:
    a) repeal Taft-Hartley
    b) return to the tax rate schedule from Clinton era or even 1950’s era with brackets modified for inflation and indexed to inflation
    c) define income for federal income tax purposes to include all income earned anywhere in the world, and as an off-set add a deduction for any taxes actually paid to a foreign jurisdiction, provided proof of that payment is attached to the return.
    d) provide that each of one or more salaries paid by or on behalf of a corporation [or other form of nonhuman taxpayer] cannot be deducted from income for tax purposes to the extent it exceeds a multiple of thirty times the aggregate wages or salary paid to the lowest paid individual in the corporation’s operations or contracting with the corporation or furnished to the corporation under a contract with the corporation. Likewise dividends paid should not be deductible to the extent they exceed in the aggregate a ratio to that lowest paid person’s income fairly representative of fair dividends, as opposed to some practice, devised in response to the foregoing, of dumping what used to be an obscene salary into obscene dividends.
    d) set minimum wage to poverty level for family of four divided by 2,000 hours and index for inflation. Extend benefits to all employees, part-time or full-time, unless part-time workers are fewer than 2 % of employees at any one location.
    e) make it a federal felony to fire someone who is trying to organize workers into unions, or to otherwise try to prevent communications respecting unions between employees and organizers.

  • Snowbeard

    Using economic concerns to vote against an increase in the minimum wage supports the “Trickle Down” approach that has failed. I’ve been around for 70 years. Reagan promised the Trickle Down approach would provide a flow of economic growth to the middle class and the poor. After 30+ years I’m still waiting, but the only trickle seems to be a Trickle Up to the wealthy. In fact it’s more like a Gusher Up. A lottery ticket has more potential to help the middle class and poor than the Trickle Down theory.

    • Yes but! If you have your head up your ass, Trickle Down makes sense. Repucks have been trying to explain to me how it workes sinse Ronnie was in office. All the Repucks have donein cause me to puck.

    • I don’t see it supporting the trickle down nonsense as much as blatantly denying clear cut evidence that raising the minimum wage spurs economic growth because people on minimum wage do, in fact, spend all the extra money they earn as a result of a minimum wage increase. Unlike the tax cut nonsense for rich people who only take extra money from tax cuts and use it to buy fancier cars overseas and take vacations overseas, etc. etc., folks on minimum wage who are always trying to figure out whether to buy food or pay a bill or on whatever they need, WILL IN FACT SPEND EVERY CENT THEY GET FROM A WAGE INCREASE IN AMERICA. So if they get a $1 wage increase which gives them an extra $1,000 to spend a year; it will be spent IN AMERICA and help spur the economy.

  • Isn’t it sad the house who want to cut social programs are the first in line to give subsides to oil companies,give themselves raises every time they are re-elected They should be hung by their toe nails It is shameful how the tea party has manipulated the system!! Congress Has no clue how to represent the folks who put them in office but they sure do a good job for the big money that paid for their political campaigns!!! We the people must stand together an demand action, after all we have paid our dues ,paying the social security trust fund. the oil companies should be nationalized as they are in other countries. My local gasoline has gone up .50 cents per gallon in the last two weeks. Where is the republican out cry about that SHAME SHAME.


    • I’m sorry but the premise of your comment is not accurate, lawmakers have not received a pay raise since 2009. Pay raises for lawmakers have been automatic since 1889 and are tied to the raises for all General Schedule federal employees. When congress voted in 2011 to freeze the pay for two years for all federal employees, they also froze their own pay and congress voted in 2010 to skip the automatic increase. Whether they, and other federal employees, will get a raise in 2013 has not been decided. If they don’t do something on the issue by August, it will be up to Obama to decide – and he’s apparently said he’s in favor of a .5% increase for federal employees in 2013. If that’s what GS schedule federal employees get, lawmakers cannot vote themselves a raise higher than the .5%.

  • joeham1

    When reading the article and some of the posts, it’s astounding that it all goes back to blame the rich! We act like raising the minimum wage will be a great fix for anything. Anyone with a brain knows that raising the minimum wage leads to less jobs, and it’s never enough.

    The unions aren’t an answer because they bully companies until the companies take the jobs overseas for lower wage workers. We’ve seen what the unions and tenure has done to our schools. Knowing it’s close to impossible to be fired has made our schools produce kids that can barely read and write.

    The few elite dominick talks about aren’t even part of the issue. In the so-called Balanced Approach to cutting the deficit, we got the tax increase part, and the President added 4 trillion in deficits with no deficit reduction. (CBO report jan 4 2013) Now he wants another one and we all know we need another tax increase. The spending hasn’t been addressed in the last 4 years and it probably won’t be.

    What nobody on this site talks about is the middle class incomes have gone down in the last 4 years and poverty has gone up. We are on a spending pace that will make the middle class have to pay their fair share because there aren’t enough rich to do it!

    The blame game crap will continue until this adinistration runs out of excuses. If there is a problem blame the right and the rich. Don’t try for a solution, just blame! There is no such thing as middle out economics. When a government over spends like this and the last administration, everyone will have to pay more in taxes!

    With Andrew Cuomo’s involvment in the housing crash and with the success Christi has had, the choice between the 2 is easy!

    • cpbis

      Totally wrong! Just one thought to remember. In the past 25 years the so-called rich have had a net increase in income of 200% while the middle class has had less than 5%. Leading to a 2-class system which historically has never worked except for the very few. Though it is but a movie the film Hunger Games is an example of a 2-class system. Also look where the deficits have come from since Eisenhower. Other than “Ike” every Republican Administration has had an increase in the deficit. Every Democratic Administration has had a decrease in the deficit (even Carter). Raising the minimum wage has never created major corporate problems and has helped the economy by having more people spend money on products thereby increasing profits and creating jobs.

      • joeham1

        Wow how you love to make up facts! Every President in the last 40 years has raised the deficit! EVERY SINGLE ONE!!!! Check your facts!

        When we spend to much like Bush and Obama that will lead to a 2 class system then collapse! Your statistics on the rich forgets to mention the 200% is also becuase more people became rich!

        So many of you have climbed abourd the blame the rich and hate the right. Instead of just believing what the left tells you, why don’t you do some research????

        This reccession that were in started becuase of both parties. President Clinton signed 3 bills. One was the The American Homeownership and Economic Opportunity Act, and one drafted by republicans was called the Gramm–Leach–Bliley bill and the Community reinvestment act, (re-written from the bill passed in 1977)
        Those 3 bills that he signed together with Bush going along with them created the disaster were in today. Both parties signed them into law and both parties wnet along with them! I know it’s more popular to just blame without knowledge but your a fool if you do!

        • Although your statement that every president in the last 40 years has raised the deficit, it’s only because the American electorate has been too stupid to leave a Democrat in office long enough to reduce the significant deficit spending that the previous GOP president has passed him far enough to allow for paying down the deficit. Fact is, even Carter reduced the deficit spending that was passed to him by Ford. Remember, every president that comes into office has 9 months to create a budget and has to ‘live with’ the budget the previous president passes him (a 10/1 to 9/30 budget). And another fact is that every, and I’m going to repeat every, Dem president since FDR has effectively reduced a deficit budget. In the case of Clinton, he received a significant deficit spending budget from Bush Sr. and was able of the first 5 years to turn that into 3 surplus budgets. Apparently, with 3 surplus budgets in a row, the Republican congress in 2000 didn’t vote to use the surplus to pay down the deficit so it was passed to Bush Jr and he SPENT IT!!! In the case of Obama, he got a whopping 1.6 budget from Bush jr. with 1.6 trillion in deficit spending because of TARP and the auto bailout monies THAT BUSH NEGOTIATED; but even with that Obama has reduced the 1.6 trillion in deficits down to 1.1 trillion in 2011-12. And he’s reduced it faster than any previous president!!!!!!!!!

          • joeham1

            lol..Your fucking retarded! Your numbers are made up and your just a hack! Keep believing your own B.S if it makes you feel better! This President like Carter, Bush 1 and bush 2, is a disaster! Why do you think unemployment is going up? Why do you think he hasn’t passed a budget? (The budget he tried to pass was defeated 97-0)

            In a year from now when unemployment is over 8% and the deficit is 17.5 trillion what crap will you sling then?

        • cpbis

          Facts are at times based on the eye of the beholder. However, here is what I have: DDE 1.1% reduction, JFK/ LBJ 0.9% reduction, Nixon/Ford 3% increase, JC 0.1% reduction, RR 0.2% increase, GB 1
          1.1 increase. WC 5.2% decrease and GB 2 had a 10.3% increase. From my understanding these do not include the increases in deficit due to interest paid.

    • ObozoMustGo

      Joe… you’re not likely to find much receptiveness to common sense around this sea of leftist insanity called The Memo. In fact, you’ll likely find a great deal of 2 characteristics: hostility and sheer stupidity like the moron cpbis that replied to you. He/She’s an idiot. There’s lots of leftist freaks floating around here. Witness the fact that these morons think raising minimum wage is a good thing. That’s classic single-step thinking without a real understanding of the consequences inflicted on the lowest wage earners, most of whom are teenagers and low skill first-time entrants into the work force. They are the one’s who are getting shut out. But that doesn’t occur to morons that don’t understand the realities of economic choice.

      Keep up the common sense posts, and keep fighting the good fight.

      Have a great day!

      “The danger to America is not Barack Obama but a citizenry capable of entrusting a man like him with the Presidency…Blaming the prince of the fools should not blind anyone to the vast confederacy of fools that made him their prince. The Republic can survive a Barack Obama, who is, after all, merely a fool. It is less likely to survive a multitude of fools such as those who made him their president.” – Czech Republic newspaper Prager Zeitung

      • joeham1

        They should know from history that raising minimum the wage kills jobs. It helps no one and it raises prices!

        The most astonishing thing to me is most of them are “talking points” machines. It’s like they don’t have a mind of their own. If they don’t know the answer they make one up!

        The hate the right and rich is their god, and the President cares! I’m amazed that they are so misguided! I give them facts and proof of those facts and they respond with childish name calling like Faux news or tea baggers.

        Their hate is out of control and most of them get their facts from MSNBC or OBama himself! My point to them is always that Both parties are responsible for our situation and Both need to solve it. They want all republicans dead, not realizing that complete democrat control will lead to horrible legislation like Obama care and worse!!!

        • ObozoMustGo

          Joe…. I must confess that I despise the left and want their ideology dead. I don’t suffer the fools easily. And you are right about most of them here and elsewhere. They repeat talking points from MSLSD, Obozo, and Media (truth doesn’t) Matters. There are some here that are not leftist freaks, though. They are liberals, not necessarily committed socialists. You can have good discussions with some of them that go beyond talking points.

          Keep fighting the good fight.

          Have a nice day!

          “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” – C. S. Lewis

          • joeham1

            I couldn’t agree more with you. There are a lot of total socialists on this site that regardless of the fact that socialism has always failed, they are willing to double down because now supposedly we have someone smart enough to make it work.

            The next group of your basic liberals want to believe that Obama is good and that he really cares! They fight the facts and in some cases repeat fictional information that makes themselves feel good. They are unfortunately blind.

            The radicals has succeeded in verbally destroying the tea party regardless of the fact that the tea party is our only hope to control the trainwreck were heading for with this out of control spending!

            All the groups together have been taught that if they hate the right every thing else will be ok! Sad for our country!

  • OKsettledown

    A lot of attention is given to the minimum wage. Minimum wage was established to bring unskilled workers into the workforce where they could gain the skills to move forward in their worklife. Unfortunately, many corporations keep their workers at minimum or close to minimum wage now just to increase profits. Note the “close to minimum wage”because therein lies the problem. When the minimum wage is increased, it requires an increase in wages all the way up the company hierarchy. Those who started at minimum wages and have slowly climbed up a dollar an hour can lose that progress in the blink of an eye with an increase in the minimum wage. So, the employer has to increase the wages of all employees all the way up to management (at least). In a right world, this would decrease profits, but of course that would not happen. The corporation would raise all their prices to keep profits the same, or even increase them. Voila! Inflation… Now, everything costs more – and the increase in pay is, poof, gone, and the employee is right back where they started, except they are paying higher taxes. The government is the only entity that is guaranteed a profit from raising the minimum wage. The only reasonable solutions would be to raise taxes on excess profits and provide services to low-income people, or provide incentives to corporations to pay livable wages, such as tax write-offs for paying lower-tier employees higher wages.

  • Now whats the old adage of the haves? I made my money now you go make yours. If you make it good for you, if you dont it aint my fault be lucky you have a job in the first place.

  • ObozoMustGo

    Here is a very well written article and explanation as to why the minimum wage laws are bad law. It may be good for some of you to read the opposing viewpoint. Hat tip, Roger Koopman at fee(dot)org:

    Original link: fee(dot)org/the_freeman/detail/the-minimum-wage-good-intentions-bad-results#axzz2K9pzP6Eb

    The Minimum Wage: Good Intentions, Bad Results
    MARCH 01, 1988 by ROGER KOOPMAN

    Ideas have consequences, Richard Weaver once wrote. They pace the course of human history—both good ideas and bad. And while intentions may be honorable, the passing of time has proven that, in the long term, you can’t get good results from bad ideas.

    The minimum wage is a classic example of a good intention and a bad idea. The idea behind minimum wage legislation is that government, by simple decree, can increase the earning power of all marginal workers. Implicit in this idea is the notion that employment is an exploitive relationship and that business owners will never voluntarily raise the wages of their workers. Businesses, we are told, must be coerced into paying workers what they deserve, and only politicians know what this is.

    Not only does this line of thinking run contrary to the most basic economic principles of a free society, but it is also patently illogical. If government could raise the real wages of millions of Americans by merely passing a law announcing that fact, then why stop at $3.35 per hour, or $4.65, or even $107 Isn’t $500 per hour more compassionate than $50? Absurd, you say, and I would agree. But the “logic” is perfectly consistent with the idea of a minimum wage, once you have accepted the premise that political decrees can raise wages.

    What does make wages rise? It is most certainly not government edicts that simply rearrange and redistribute existing wealth. Wages rise in response to the creation of new wealth through greater productivity. The more that a society produces per capita, the more there is to distribute through the marketplace in the form of higher wages, better benefits, and lower prices.

    The “bigger economic pie” concept is not complicated in the least, and yet it is a principle that seems to elude us time and again in matters of public policy. We know instinctively that government cannot create or produce anything. It regulates, confiscates, and consumes, all at the expense of the private economy. And yet we still believe that government can wave its magic wand with laws like the minimum wage, and we all will be better off.

    Politicians engage in this deception to buy political favor from special interest groups. We keep falling for these political deceptions because our focus is on short-term personal gains rather than on the long-term consequences to the entire nation. We see the apparent benefit of having our own wages increased. But we don’t consider the nameless victims of the minimum wage hike who will lose their jobs because the government has priced them out of the labor market. (It is precisely because minimum wage laws eliminate low-skilled workers from competing in the job market that organized labor lobbies Congress for massive minimum wage hikes.)

    Commenting on the minimum wage, economist Henry Hazlitt put it succinctly:

    “You cannot make a man worth a given amount by making it illegal for anyone to offer him less. You merely deprive him of the right to earn the amount that his abilities and situation would permit him to earn, while you deprive the community even of the moderate services that he is capable of rendering. In brief, for a low wage you substitute unemployment. You do harm all around, with no comparable compensation.”[1]

    The net loss to society that results from this sweeping act of “wrongful discharge” is staggering. Those losses include: (1) The loss of employment to the individual himself, (2) the shrinking of the economic pie by the loss of his productive contribution, (3) the financial loss to society in supporting him in his idleness (unemployment compensation, welfare, etc.), (4) the financial loss in funding useless job training programs and other government efforts to get him re-employed, and (5) the net loss to society in having consumer prices driven up to cover the higher labor costs, and the loss of market share to foreign competition that may occur.

    The cruel irony of the minimum wage is that it harms most the very segments of our society that it is intended to help—the unskilled poor and the inexperienced young. The evidence to support this is overwhelming, and it is the black community that is the hardest hit. In the 1950s, black teenage unemployment was roughly that of white teens. Following years of steady increases in both the level and coverage of the Federal minimum wage, over 40 per cent of the nation’s black teenagers are now unemployed.

    Just look at all the jobs that have been abolished by the minimum wage—good and worthwhile jobs for those who are taking their first step on the economic ladder. Movie ushers, gas station attendants, caddies, fruit pickers, dishwashers, fast food help, and a wide variety of other entry-level job opportunities have been either cut back or eliminated because the minimum wage has rendered them unaffordable. How tragic this is, when you consider the true value of these low-level jobs to young and unskilled workers.

    Reflecting on his early years in a Philadelphia slum, black economist Walter Williams observed:

    “None of these jobs paid much, but then I wasn’t worth much. But the real value of early work experiences is much more important than the little change a kid can earn. You learn how to keep a job. You learn how to be prompt, respect and obey superiors, and develop good work habits and attitudes that can pay off in the future. Additionally, there is the self-respect and pride that comes from being financially semi-independent.”[2]

    If a young person is willing to wash cars for $2.50 an hour to gain work experience and self-esteem, is it the right of Congress to tell him he can’t do it? Is it, in fact, the right of any politician to make these kinds of economic choices for a free people?

    Commenting again on the minimum wage, Williams makes this critical observation:

    “It is important to note that most people acquire work skills by working at “subnormal wages” which amounts to the same thing as paying to learn. For example, inexperienced doctors (interns), during their training, work at wages which are a tiny fraction of that of trained doctors. College students forego considerable amounts of money in the form of tuition and foregone income so that they may develop marketable skills. It is ironic, if not tragic, that low skilled youths from poor families are denied an opportunity to get a start in life. This is exactly what happens when a high minimum wage forbids low skilled workers to pay for job training in the form of a lower beginning wage.”[3]

    In a free society, people must have the right to offer their services in the marketplace for whatever price they choose, whether they are workers serving employers or businesses serving consumers. It is by this process that productivity, wage rates, and prosperity are maximized. Government has no more business objecting to a low wage rate for a menial job than it has objecting to a business that offers its services or products for a low price. Government intervention in these matters distorts economic decision-making, misallocates scarce resources, and destroys personal liberty.

    If we are to remain a free people, we need to start trusting freedom, and jealously guard our right to make our own choices about our own lives. Repealing the minimum wage law would be an excellent place to start. []


    1. Heny Hazlitt, Economics in One Lesson (New York: Arlington House Publishers, 1979), p. 135.

    2. Walter Williams, “Wage Laws Keep Teens Jobless.” Colorado Springs Gazette Telegraph, May 16, 1986 (syndicated column).

    3. Walter Williams, “Government Sanctioned Restraints that Reduce Economic Opportunities for Minorities.” Policy Review, No. 2 (I 977). p. 11, (Quoted in Poverty and Wealth: The Christian Debate Over Capitalism, by Ronald H. Nash. [Westchester. Illinois: Crossway Books, 1986], p, 122.)

    Good stuff.

    Have a nice day!

    “The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.” – Milton Friedman

    • InsideEye

      What are you doing in this forum…you are suicidal, but accurate. Good job.

      • ObozoMustGo

        Inside… I come here because I like being in the battle more than I like reading and agreeing with people who think like me. I am a happy conservative warrior, and I like it that way. I hold my own pretty well and have made many many enemies here which I consider badges of honor. I have actually made some friends, as well.

        Thanks for reading.

        Have a great day!

        As William Voegeli put it in Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State, “Liberals don’t want the government to grow indefinitely. They just want it to be bigger than it is right now. The corollary of this stance is liberals’ refusal even to entertain questions on the dimensions of a welfare state that is exactly the right size.”

        “Government is the great fiction, through which everybody endeavors to live at the expense of everybody else.” — Frederic Bastiat, French economist (1801-1850)

    • dtgraham

      Yes I’m familiar with all the arguments from the right on this Obozo, but I don’t see it in practicality or real world results. You’re forgetting the example of Henry Ford’s unbelievably high $5.00 per day wage at the turn of the 20th century. Other industrialists and car makers called the announcement the stupidest thing ever done and economy destroying, but Ford was on to something. He knew that workers would then be able to afford his cars and it would pump up the economy as a whole. In the long run it would increase his profits, he thought, and it did by orders of magnitude that he never imagined.

      It’s not dissimilar today. The minimum wage boost is often compared to a stimulus action. It pumps money into local economies and can lead to job growth. The increase is like food stamps or unemployment benefits in that the recipients usually have to spend the money rather than sock it away. There’s a big problem in North America right now with corporations sitting on unusual amounts of retained earnings and not spending. This is one way to shift money from corporate profits to low income workers who will do more immediate spending.

      There is a growing body of research extolling the benefits of higher minimum wages and I agree with it. Corporations not investing and spending is a problem in Canada at the moment too, and one of the reasons why Canada’s unemployment rate has been lower than the U.S. for several years now is the much higher Canadian minimum wage. It’s been sort of an economic offset. It has stimulated growth and job creation. The lower Canadian unemployment rate is something that you’d have to explain, coming at it from your angle. My home Province has had the democratic socialist party in power, Provincially, since 1999 and has as low or lower an unemployment rate than many of the Red States in the U.S. despite a $10.50 per hour minimum wage rate.

      P.S.~ what’d I tell you about the American juniors at the World Junior Hockey Championships last month in Russia? I told you how impressed I was with them despite their record at that moment. Well, guess who won it all and is now the World Junior Hockey Champions? The U.S.A, that’s who. They turned me into a seer. We’ll get you guys next year.

      • ObozoMustGo

        Hey dt… How’s my Canadian socialist buddy? NHL is back and I’m happy about that. Re: the Juniors: I gotta hand it to you… you were spot on. They came together really well. I was surpised at Canada. They played like a bunch of individuals, not like a team. That’s very uncharacteristic of Canadian teams. Oh well, there’s always next year.

        Re: minimum wage: Why not make the minimum wage $50 per hour? No, $500 per hour. Then we’d all be rich, wouldn’t we? The fact of the matter is, dt, that if you raise the cost of labor, the prices of the products produced become more expensive. It’s just that simple, dude. Labor is a cost of input just like beef is a cost of input for making burgers. All inputs are accounted for in the price of goods. So this fantasy that raising minimum wage enables workers to afford more of the goods is nonsense if the price of goods they buy goes up. Further, one of the all time silliest notions I’ve ever heard is that unemployment and welfare payments are good for the economy. NO they are not. There is no value exchange for that money expended. This is like a company paying people to not work for them. It’s pure foolishness. If it were true, all the government would have to do would be to employ every person to dig ditches and then fill them back up every day. No economic value is created and therefore the economy cannot grow where no value is created.

        I get your perspective though. There’s this belief on the left that giving money away to the supposed lower rungs of the economy will cause those people to increase demand for products and services that in turn gives employers a need to hire those employees. This is leftist fantasy thinking, dt. If you want to make the argument that we need a social safety net to help those in need get back up when they are down, that’s a fair argument and we can discuss that. But you cannot use your feelings of compassion for the downtrodden as an excuse to twist your logic into saying that raising the minimum wage, paying unployed people, or welfare transfer payments are good for the economy. It’s simply not true. It may be good for helping people in need, but it isn’t good for the economy. Only a moron like Paul Krugman could possibly suggest such stupidity.

        Re Ford: As a private busines, it’s his election to pay his employees what he wants and knows he can afford within the market for his products. And Ford was smart enough to know that he would have a competitive advantage for the best workers by paying more. This put pressure on his competitors and if Henry Ford was anything, he was ruthless competitor. That’s not at all the same thing as government mandated minimum wages. Ford knows his cost structures. Politicians only know vote buying. How is it that a politician could be so smart as to know how much a particular job is worth or not? How do they have all the wisdom? Who are these masterminds that they are so smart they can figure out that the minimum wage should be $10.50 per hour? Why not $12.50? Why not $55.50? This faith in politicians as masterminds who rule over all is just pure nonsense and goes against all historical evidence.

        The minimum wage is a regressive law. It harms the lowest skilled and new entry workers the most. In America, those are mostly teenagers looking for their first jobs. Unfortunately, they are more and more being shut out of the work force and the net result is that more and more older and more skilled people are being forced into minimum wage jobs. Like the article I posted, it’s an idea with good intentions, but bad consequences. This is exactly what happens with every single leftist idea. But leftists don’t really care about the consequences so long as they get to feel good for having “done something”. And on and on it goes.

        Have a great day, dt!

        “One of the great mistakes is to judge policies and programs by their intentions rather than their results.” – Milton Friedman in an interview with Richard Heffner

        “Half the harm that is done in this world is due to people who want to feel important. They don’t mean to do harm– but the harm does not interest them. Or they do not see it, or they justify it because they are absorbed in the endless struggle to think well of themselves.” — T. S. Eliot

        • dtgraham

          I’ll just respond to a few of your points, you American Jeffersonian classical liberal. I’ve been busy and haven’t even looked at the Memo in a week.

          Not all inputs are accounted for in the price of goods. Businesses do what they can to avoid passing on increased costs in their prices. The more competitive the market, the closer to the margin they’ll get to before raising prices. At a time when corporations are sitting on so much excess capital (for reasons not clear) and wages have stagnated so far behind corporate profits, there is plenty of room for movement insofar as absorbing higher wage costs; for larger industries anyway and particularly in industries that are little more than oligopolies. Spending does create value and even Adam Smith talked extensively about a societal regulatory hand setting the stage for the invisible hand of the market to function effectively. That regulatory hand was stripped and wasn’t doing it’s job in the 20’s and 2000’s although I know you don’t believe that.

          Your concern for teenagers just looking for some work experience and college money, etc.. is easily addressed. I’ll have to profess my ignorance here as to how the minimum is handled in the individual States, but it’s common practice in Canadian Provinces to have two minimum wages—a lower one for minors and an upper one for adults.

          There just aren’t any studies or examples showing how a higher minimum wage results in higher unemployment or significantly higher inflation. It’s like so much of far right orthodoxy inasmuch as it’s simple and seems to make sense on a surface level until you give it more thought and then look around the world for examples. Why isn’t unemployment and inflation out of control in northern European countries and Canada, which have much higher minimums? Unemployment levels have been lower in Canada, than the U.S., for a number of years now and prices for things are similar. Inflation has been just slightly over 1%. The minimum wage averages $3.00 per hour more.

          There’s a principle in economics called the velocity of money that describes the multiplier effect that money has on total national wealth as it works it’s way through the economy. The lower the income level that it starts at, the more the exchanges and the greater the effect it has on GDP. It hasn’t been an economy built to last with solid roots for decades. With outsourcing of manufacturing and so much of the income gains going to the top earners, the wealth of the 90’s and 2000’s came from artificially boosted asset values stemming from the tech and dot com bubbles of two decades ago and the housing bubble last decade.

          • ObozoMustGo

            dt… Sorry for delay. Long weekend away from computers and with kids hockey. A good break. Don’t have much time, so I will be brief.

            First off, you are confusing to similar sounding but different economic concepts. Velocity of money doesn’t really have anything to do with the theory of a multiplier effect. Velocity of money merely measures the pace at which a dollar changes hands. Multiplier effect is a theory that attempts to explain how spending money creates more wealth than is spent. They are not related.

            Secondly, not every cost input is accounted for in COSTING a product (those are called Cost of Goods Sold/Produced/Mined/whatever) Things like general and administrative costs come out below the COGS line. But I can assure you that in PRICING a given product or service, ALL costs are accounted for, including loss leaders which are accounted for properly as marketing costs. After all, why be in business if you are going to lose money? This is a concept that is foreign to you lefties, I know. But it is true.

            Third, there are plenty of studies that show the negative impact of increasing minimum wages. They are done by people not named Paul Krugman. You can Google “raising minimum wage good intentions bad results” and look at thousands of published articles and information that disclose this fact. The US does not have a different minimum wage for minors and adults. There is a national minimum wage and states are free to have their own. 5 states don’t have minimum wage laws, so the Fed rate applies.

            Lastly, all this clap trap about income increases going to the top 10% is nothing more than class warfare, socialist mumbo jumbo that is nothing more than an emotion looking for some data to justify. In reality, dt, WHO makes up the top 10% in America is very fluid. It constantly changes. And in fact, many of the top 10% were once poor. Your socialist rants about supposed “income inequality” have no basis in fact UNLESS one supposes that WHO makes up the top 10% never changes. And some who were in the top 10% 20 years ago are now in the bottom 10%. Further, what your emotionally charged argument neglects to address is the fact that ASSET WEALTH is different than income wealth. There are a great number of people in America that don’t have very high incomes, but whom own and control huge assets. Retired Americans make up the bulk of this group. The point is that this argument about “income inequality” is just plain stupid. By the way, one of the features of being wealthy is that you tend to earn more than those who are not wealthy.

            Outsourcing of manufacturing has nothing to do with your dreams of an “income gap” and has more to do with 2 things:

            1) Companies that have products and services that are in demand in other areas of the world find it advantageous sometimes to do business locally.
            2) Sometimes, the total cost of building manufacturing here, from regulatory and legal hurdles, to labor, energy, taxation, and then legal liability, and the amount of time it takes to start an operation here compared to other places, makes it much cheaper and quicker to do it elsewhere in a more business friendly environment. There is NOTHING in this world that you can do to stop the flow of capital or the movement of industry that would not kill the economy. Sorry, but you just cannot.

            Have a nice day, DT!

            “The great danger to the consumer is the monopoly — whether private or governmental. His most effective protection is free competition at home and free trade throughout the world. The consumer is protected from being exploited by one seller by the existence of another seller from whom he can buy and who is eager to sell to him. Alternative sources of supply protect the consumer far more effectively than all the Ralph Naders of the world.” – Milton Friedman

            “The most important single central fact about a free market is that no exchange takes place unless both parties benefit.” – Milton Friedman

          • dtgraham

            One of the factors explaining how spending money can create more wealth than is spent is the pace at which a dollar changes hands. They’re certainly related.

            Obozo you’re arguing old economics 101 that taught that adding to the cost of employment always decreased employment. There is now a growing body of strong empirical evidence suggesting that increasing the minimum wage within a certain range has no effect on employment. Increases may boost worker efficiency and they add new demand to the economy by putting more money into the pockets of low wage workers. There is a massive database of research since the early 90’s done by groups like UMASS Amherst and The Council of Economic Advisers. The same businesses in the same industries, operating in close proximity, were compared over a long period of time. They took the same businesses in border county comparisons and their differentials in wages and they correlated that with employment, controlling for other factors, and found no evidence of job loss that could be tied to wages.

            The portion of wages in costs are relatively small. Even in areas like manufacturing it’s fairly small. Overhead is complicated and large and wages aren’t a huge part of it. The cost factors in a business are so multi variable, and some spike all the time, that businesses are pretty used to encompassing large price spikes in commodity sources. There are channels to deal with it inside firms such that you don’t have this great disemployment effect from wage increases.

            A few thoughts on prices and inflation. Prices aren’t set by the cost of making something or doing something. Prices are set by what market research tells most companies what the public is willing to pay. The reason a beer at a public event is priced at multiple times what that same beer costs at a bar across the street is not because of extra cost factors.

            There are so few workers making the minimum wage that the idea that a 24% increase in the minimum, for about 7% of the workforce, would affect the overall inflation rate and trigger a wage price spiral is nutty. No economist would argue that despite the spinoff effect it would likely have on some of the other lower wage rates.

            Obozo the world is complicated and it’s one of the things that make me a liberal. I find that the classic conservative arguments of perversity, futility, and jeopardy are just intransigence disguised as thought. They don’t describe reality. The talking points and simple rhetoric never change.

            Incidentally, I’m familiar with COGS…and those Milton Friedman quotes are laughably wrong.

            At any rate, it’s just politics isn’t it. Take care my man and I’m sure we’ll talk again sometime.

  • bchrista

    I have read the comments posted by Obozomustgo,Oksettledown, and as usual Joe Ham1 and have come to te conclusion that these three must own a ton of money or have connections that keep them flush with money so that they can aford the best things in life without lifting a finger or getting themselves dirty, or why else deny a poor person the opportunity to earn a decent wage so that they can support their family andjust maybe have a few dollars left over in case of an emergency, I mean I am in my 80s and I remember when minimum wages were $3.15 an hour and big business was making money by the train loads and the same argument prevailed over raising the minimum wage. It’s taken at least 60 years to get the minimum wage to hit the $7.00 range in the CEOs of large cooperations, Big Oil Companies, and other Institutions have been knocking down obscene wages and bonuses, in fact I remember it was just a few years ago that the CEO for Mobile Oil Company received a bonus in excess of 400,000,000 dollars now someone tell me what in the name of God could that man have done to merit a bonus of that high a caliber, did he sleep with the boss’es wife? and I think it was just last year a big Executive from some Company was punished for something he did and as a result he only received $11,000,000 million dollars bonus and the story goes on where you hear of another Exect. receiving a rediculess amount of money from some Company and the people have the balls to knock a person seeking to improve the lot of his or hers family, they should all be taken out in the woods and shot, for defending the rich. I mean to have a straight face and tell the rest of that Obama is trying to take their hard earned money from them the only thing that they saw hard was the dick each one sucked there ain’t a damned one that ever saw a days hard work unless his worker was doing it. And all that personage and bullshit that they are using to try to muddle your mind to hide the truth tell them to stick it and tell it to the poor guy or women that’s having to run a tab at the neighborhood grocery store in order to feed their family, mean while their landloard drives up in a BMW or a Cadilac,, or a Mercedes, or a Jaguer to collect the Rent, tell them they are greedy pigs because they are seeking a Dollar increase in the minimum wage. And these gys call themselves Americans, they should hang their heads in shame and beg for forgiveness.

    • You said it all.

    • What we need is for the SEC to establish a bonus rule for all publically held companies. A rule that ties bonuses to a company’s earnings with a max percent of the CEO’s current salary (just as with the average company employee) and a provision that if the company has negative earnings, the CEO gets no bonus. What really ticks me off is when a company suffers a bad year and kicks the CEO out but yet has to give them a golden parachute of millions. This is totally absurd. What corporate boards vote the CEO and themselves in the way of bonuses, reduces the monies a company has available to pay dividends and/or invest someway in the company, both of which impact and likely reduce stockholder value.

  • bchrista

    Here we go again, once more the less haves are being thrown a lot of bullshit by the more affleunt , this all started years ago by the haves, it was said that unless you have a High School Education you won’t make it in life, then in later years it went to you need a College Education to get ahead in this world, then again another level was added, you needed a College Degree plus a doctorete in order to survive and each time the plateau got higher, but what was never told to the public was that they didn’t stand a chance in hell to attain the level they were looking for because the jobs had already been outsourced overseas and the remaining good jobs were being filled by imported labor that could do the jobs maybe a little better but surely a lot cheaper, whether the work is done here or overseas, that’s why in todays world if you buy a Dell Computer for instance and you have a problem with it you call an American phone number and someone in India answers you and asks you to tell then what your problem is, and the same applys to problems with other companies, guess what, that was something that was resolved here in this country not many years ago. So people the problem is not that there are no jobs the problem is that big business has opted to go for the higher profits and the hell with the American economy, they have either enlisted the help of people like Joe Ham1, Obozomustgo or, Montana Bill to spread their lies and distortions to draw peoples mind away from the real problems, it’s a vicious cycle but it follows a simple policy divide and conquer, meanwhile the rich get richer. You see they call your President a muslin, a thief, make statements that he’s not an American, refuse to accept his birth cerficate as a legal document, and that he’s a communist, guess what that’s the same tactics that were used by the real communists when they took over Cuba, Poland, Germany, and many of the countries in Europe. People you must stay alert unless you want to wake up one day and find that you are no longer in the land of the free, it may sound farfetched but worse things have been known to happen. To be forwarned is to be prepared.

  • ridemybroom

    neither of these clowns are right…i think they should have raised it to at least 10.00 an hour…why…becuz the price of oil continue to rise and that makes everything else go up in price…this way one would at least have some way to combat the price of inflation…

  • Germansmith

    I wonder how much of that minimum wage goes toward sales, gas, luxury taxes? (assuming those people in minimum wages are not paying any income tax)

    If we keep sending our manufacturing and service jobs overseas it really does not matter what the minimum wage is. A lot of those jobs are also taken by illegal inmigrants willing to and having to work for minimum money.

    When I came to this country (legally) I took minimum wage jobs as well as my mother did as well (even as she a pharmacist in Cuba) and we survived. We both studied and eventually were able to get better jobs. These opportunities are still available to all Americans.

    Raising the minimum wage $1 an hour does not amount to much, it is just a political grandstand from somebody who wants to run for President in 2016 . Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour will just create inflation and discouraged businesses from hiring UNLESS they really have to.

    If you want to solve the poverty issue, bring duties back so other countries do not dump cheap products on us. Increase education funding and opportunities (hire Michelle Rhee). Repair infrastructure and fix our inmigration problem.

  • barbara goda

    the huge problem – the cash only illegals working without paying taxes… the money pit, yet they are in line for every handout.

    • You might be interested in some stats from a project of the Pew Research Center: the Pew Hispanic Center. America has about 40 million immigrants living in the country (about 12% of America’s population are legal and illegal immigrants with a little over 5% being illegals). Of those, the vast majority are from Mexico (about 30%) with the next largest group being from China (about 5%). About 51% of our Mexican population is illegal with illegals from Mexico making up about 58% of all illegals (about 6.1 million illegals from Mexico) – as of 2011;that’s down from 7 million Mexican illegals in 2007. A sharp downturn over the past 5 years in illegal Mexican migration has resulted in 2012 having a zero or slightly less NET MIGRATION of Mexicans to the U.S. – a situation where illegal Mexicans returning to Mexico equal or are slightly more than the LEGAL Mexicans coming to the U.S.

    • You may be right about illegals not paying taxes, but a major point you’re missing is that without illegals doing a lot of jobs that many companies need done cheaply that legal Americans would not due, the country would be losing billions in tax dollars from non existent companies.

      When Alabama instituted the most harsh negative immigration legislation a couple years back, there was a severe backlash within the state caused by the exodus of lots of both illegal and legal immigrans (some legals left because of the negative tones the legislation gave to all aliens living in Alabama). And those leaving weren’t just individuals – a number of foreign companies doing business in Alabama threatened to leave because of the negative impacts the legislation had on their employees and even just the PR for their companies. Alabama had to back off and soften the legislation. I’m certainly not in a position to judge which way the negative tax implications lie, but my hunch is that the loss of tax revenues to the US from companies either pulling back from things they do or going out of business because they can’t find people to do all the work they need would be a far greater tax revenue loss than what the country is losing from SOME illegals being paid under the table.

  • trickle down economics works only for the top 3%. evidence has clearly shown it over the last 30 or so years.